7 Awe-inspiring UAS Surveys

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine the geomatics industry without unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – and yet they only arrived on the scene around five years ago. When the very first versions of the small commercial drones were unveiled at trade fairs like Intergeo, they were dismissed by some as a hype. Nothing could have been further from the truth! Today, unmanned aerial systems have firmly established themselves as valuable tools in the data collection process. In fact, they are already achieving impressive results! We put together an overview of seven awe-inspiring UAV surveys as an example of just what they... (read more)
2016-06-29 12:12:02

UAS Photogrammetry and Railway Mapping

Pilot in Czech Republic Attains High-precision Results
Today’s photogrammetric software is able to create dense and precise digital surface models (DSMs), digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthoimages. But is the accuracy sufficient for highly demanding railway applications? A pilot project carried out in the Czech Republic demonstrates that unmanned aerial system (UAS) photogrammetry has great potential for collecting geodata meeting railway companies’ high standards of precision. Parallel computing based on 16 personal computers (PCs) was used to process the 11,000-plus images in a reasonable time span. Safeguarding the continuous operation of rail traffic entails maintenance of the rails, sleepers and gravel beds, design and construction of extension... (read more)
2017-03-29 09:47:47

Photogrammetric Software Suite for UAS

PIEneering, Finland, has released a complete photogrammetric software system, RapidStation suite, for processing digital imagery acquired with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), aircrafts and helicopters. The software suite covers the entire photogrammetric workflow and has been specifically tuned for challenging UAS projects. RapidStation includes auto­mated aerial triangula­tion (AAT) along with fully au­tomated generation of very dense point clouds (DSM/DTM) and produc­tion of true-orthos and or­thomosaics. The software system com­bines ease of use with rigid photogra­metry and ma­chine vision technologies. It is suitable for both professional photo­gram­metrists and GIS producers seeking a good solution for processing their digital im­agery. The highlights of... (read more)
2013-01-28 02:22:17

UAS Use in Vegetation Inspections

How Drones Benefit Energy Companies
If vegetation comes into direct contact with power lines it can cause service disruption, not to mention fires or even electrocutions. To avoid such undesirable consequences, most energy companies spend approximately half of their budget on monitoring and managing the vegetation in the proximity of their power line network. Maintenance staff often conduct visual inspections on foot, or may use other means such as road vehicles or helicopters. The incorporation of UAS technologies into the pruning and trimming activities will bring interesting efficiency results to the sector, as demonstrated in this pilot project by Viesgo in Spain. Energy company Viesgo... (read more)
2017-10-23 01:56:42

UAS Survey of Rapa Nui

Capturing 164 Sq Kms of the World’s Most Remote Inhabited Island
Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) can be easily transported and this beneficial feature is ideal for photogrammetric surveys of remote spaces. Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the most isolated inhabited place on the planet, took UAS photogrammetry to the limit because of cloud cover, windy weather conditions and the vast size of the island. The resulting orthoimagery and digital surface models will support archaeological documentation and research. The archaeological features will be archived in a single, detailed database. The authors discuss this exciting and challenging adventure. The existence of Rapa Nui was first recorded in European annals by Jacob Roggeveen. The Dutch... (read more)
2016-06-29 12:14:38

UAS Photogrammetry for Mapping Mountains

Rapid 3D Mapping of Mount Erciyes, Central Turkey
High mountains are attractive places for outdoor sports. However, sometimes they change from recreational areas into hazardous ones. All year round, falling rocks and landslides endanger hikers and mountaineers and may cause casualties. To avoid mountaineers setting foot on tracks that are prone to landslides or where they may get crushed by rockfalls, high-quality maps of recent data are needed. In this article, the authors show that unmanned airborne systems have great potential for rapidly mapping mountainous areas. Hikers and mountaineers following mountain tracks may get injured by falling rocks or shifting slopes, and first responders may subsequently become victims... (read more)
2018-03-01 08:43:45

RIEGL Launches UAS at Intergeo

One of the most eye-catching product launches at Intergeo 2014 was RIEGL’s self-developed UAS, equipped with the VUX-1 survey-grade Lidar sensor. The new UAS, called RiCOPTER, marks an important step in the history of the Austrian Lidar manufacturer. The RiCOPTER was unveiled by company founder and CEO Dr Johannes Riegl himself. At the RIEGL booth visitors had the chance to see the VUX-1 integrated into several other UAS systems, such as SARAH by Flying-Cam or Aeroscouts UAS, demonstrating the versatility of the instrument. Moreover live demonstrations of RiCOPTER were performed in Intergeo’s UAV flight zone. RIEGL was also launching a... (read more)
2014-10-14 09:33:30

Woolpert Sources its First UAS

Woolpert, an American geospatial, infrastructure management and design consulting firm, has purchased its first UAS, the Nova Block III, from partnering UAS firm Altavian. The Nova Block III is an all-electric system that collects high-resolution, accurate imagery with the capability to deliver data in real time. The system can collect 3D mapping as well as thermal, infrared and high-definition data, making it very suitable for surveying and mapping collection. Woolpert evaluated and tested a number of systems, and found Altavian’s best at meeting their needs and those of their clients, said Jeff Lovin, Woolpert senior vice president and director of... (read more)
2013-04-19 03:10:07

Mapping a Landslide Using UAS

A New Low-altitude Survey Technology
An Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) was used to acquire images of a small area in Italy for the purpose of post-landslide monitoring. The entire chain from aerial survey up to the automatic generation of maps and contour lines could be conducted within two days – one day surveying and one day processing – thanks to the use of sophisticated photogrammetric software. The quality of the final products is comparable with those achieved using conventional photogrammetry, while the throughput is faster. After occurrence of a landslide, reliable, accurate and timely data is required in order to enable authorities to take proper... (read more)
2013-02-25 02:25:54

Harmonising UAS Regulations and Standards

GIM interviews Peter van Blyenburgh, president of UVS International
Many people dream of making a living out of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASs), but so far a lack of clear rules and regulations has stood in the way of that dream. However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon – especially in Europe – and best practices will spread across the world like an ink blot, according to Peter van Blyenburgh, president of UVS International. His independence from individual companies or governments makes him notoriously frank and he is an outspoken ambassador for the sector on all five continents. Your main concern over the past decade has... (read more)
2016-12-13 01:26:50
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